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Cricket: Bollywood stars, owners linked to scandal-hit Indian Premier League

NEW DELHI: The lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL) has been hit by a series of scandals – the latest involve not just players but team owners too.

Stars in the world of business, such as India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani, and Bollywood stars are also deeply involved.

Bollywood actor and IPL franchise co-owner Shah Rukh Khan is facing a ban following unruly behaviour, and five IPL players are now being investigated for corruption.

Shah Rukh Khan co-owns IPL franchise Kolkata Knight Riders.

He is now looking at a life-ban from the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, following a spat with security and officials.

They had refused to allow him and his entourage onto the stadium grounds after a match.

However, Shah Rukh Khan insists he is not to blame for the incident.

Shah Rukh Khan said: “I think it’s unpardonable that you physically manhandle children in the name of security, what are the kids going to do. We were not on the pitch, we were on the side.

“Actually, the videos and photographs are there, they can check it. We were on the side, the kids were throwing ball and catching, and they caught this little girl and started pushing. And that’s when I got really angry. I was on top actually and I saw it from there. I think they should apologise to me for behaving the way they behaved.”

Iqbal Sheikh, Assistant Commissioner of Police in Mumbai, said: “The honorary secretary of MCA (Mr. Nithin Dalal of Mumbai Cricket Association), he has lodged a written complaint, by way of application, to this police station late last night, against Shahrukh Khan, Murari brothers, and his associates, for misbehaving with them, abusing them, threatening them and manhandling the security guard and using filthy language against some female.”

Khan’s row is the latest to have tarnished the money-spinning cricket tournament’s image.

Just days before, a private TV news channel caught five IPL players on camera, attempting to fix matches.

The cricketers have been provisionally suspended and the Board of Control for Cricket in India has ordered a probe into the incident.

Richa Sharma, a cricket fan, said: “I being a huge cricket fan and an IPL fan, it comes as a big disappointment for me because you go there to enjoy the game and such things, I think, should be completely avoided. It is not in the right spirit of the game.”

The popular IPL, which is into its fifth season, has been stung by a series of scandals since its inception.

In 2010, the cricket board axed IPL chief Lalit Modi on charges of corruption and mismanagement.

The cash-rich IPL-5 has the lowest viewership compared to the earlier seasons. Instances like these along with other IPL scandals seem to have dented IPL’s popularity among cricket fans and television audiences. (channelnewsasia)

Published Date: Friday, May 18th, 2012 | 02:05 AM

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